Spacing: 36-48 in. (90-120 cm) 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
Hardiness: USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F) USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)
Sun Exposure: Full Sun Sun to Partial Shade
Bloom Color: White/Near White
Bloom Time: Late Summer/Early Fall Mid Fall Late Fall/Early Winter
Foliage: Grown for foliage Evergreen Shiny/Glossy-Textured
Other details: Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Soil pH requirements: 4.6 to 5.0 (highly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From softwood cuttings From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
Seed Collecting: Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
On May 19, 2013, wtliftr from Wilson's Mills, NC wrote:
definitely hardy to zone 7/8... there's a specimen (or at there was several years ago) at the UNC Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill, NC. Hoping to have one in my yard soon, but my yard gets a bit colder than what the local thermometer says. Plus, I'm an hour east of Chapel Hill, enough to make about a one week difference in the early bloomers every year. Here's to hoping!
On Mar 3, 2013, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Some ratings I have seen even allow growth in zone 6 for certain cultivars. Also, I doubt it needs full sun during the winter in a colder zone. I'm going to try to overwinter one in a pot outdoors (stacked with my other camellia pots) next year
On Nov 3, 2009, CraftedbyCarol from Salt Spring Island Canada wrote:
I live in the southern gulf islands of British Columbia, Canada. It grows very well here. We are zone 8+. I have not personally harvested any tea from it yet, but I am looking forward to it, as I drink mostly green tea.
On Nov 2, 2009, KanapahaLEW from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:
Camellia sinensis has grown for many years outside at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens (zone 8b/9a), enduring yearly frosts in the mid 20s and even 18F last winter with no damage. It is rated to zone 8 by several sources. Seeds can take 2 to 5 months to germinate so have patience and don't let them dry out from the time they are collected through germination. While plants enjoy moisture, they will not flourish in poorly-drained areas.
On Jul 28, 2007, Okazaki from Farmington, NM wrote:
This is a great plant to grow in a container if you live in the Southwestern part of the United States. I grew my tea plants from seeds and have not had a single problem with them so far.
1. Make sure that you soak the seeds for 24 hours before you plant them.
2. Tea plants take about 4-5 weeks to sprout.
3. Always keep the soil moist, but well drained.
4. Tea plants seem to be sensitive to slight over-fertilization.
5. They love full sunlight, however, growing them in the shade helps the leaves develop flavor.
On Feb 19, 2007, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:
there is a tea plantation just outside of Charleston, SC that is in operation and is owned by the Bigelow Tea company. it produces wonderful tea with a unique taste that only the Lowcountry of South Carolina can supply. the tea is a more reddish-brown color than most tea. the tea plant is hardy to zone 8.
On Aug 14, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:
This is the famous tea plant, one of the most economically important plants of the world. From the young leaves they make the tea. In China, it´s been used for over than 2500 years for it´s medicinal properties, probably. These properties are now largely studied by scientists, and researches show that ceratin substances in the tea can be used against epilepsia, emotional disturbs and cancer. They also found out that certain tea substances are toxic against Staphylococcus, and others are efficient against Influenza viruses and HIV, breaking their reproduction process.
This is a 2m tall shrub with dark green, hard and shiny leaves with serrated borders, making a beautiful foliage. The newer leaves are tender, light green. Flowers are rather smaller than other Camellias, white, with lots of stamens. Bees seem to like the pollen.
It likes full sun, but tolerates some shade. Plant it on moist, organic soil.
Edit: I have to add that recently I have found records of unidentified Theaceae plants collected in the forests of Rio de Janeiro. I identified them as Camellia sinensis, based on pictures, living and herborized specimens. Also, recently some tea plants were spotted growing wild in the mountains north of here. This means that this wonderful species escaped from cultivation (as it was cultivated here in the 19th century) and is showing itself very adapted to the cooler and humid climate of the mountains in the Rio de Janeiro state, very very far from its natural habitat. Right now I have a volunteer seedling resting on the table by my side.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Mobile, Alabama Brooker, Florida Conway, Florida Gainesville, Florida Pine Lakes, Florida South Venice, Florida Lula, Georgia Hawaiian Acres, Hawaii Coushatta, Louisiana Jefferson, Louisiana Waynesboro, Mississippi , New York Chapel Hill, North Carolina Gresham, Oregon Rivergrove, Oregon Dillon, South Carolina Hartsville, South Carolina Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Okatie, South Carolina Rockville, South Carolina Seven Oaks, South Carolina Blaine, Washington Bryn Mawr-skyway, Washington